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Anyone who has ever visited the Virgin Islands has some sense of the evolution of this tropical island chain. Like most islands in the Caribbean the islands were first settled by natives mistakenly called “Indians” by Christopher Columbus. WhenColumbus discovered these islands back in 1493, he called them the Virgin Islands because he sensed they were virginal and ripe for the picking. Some sources use a myth about St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins as the source for naming the islands. With the Spanish intrusion, slaves were introduced and a lively slave trade conducted.
Diseases the Europeans introduced to the native population wiped out two thirds of the native Indians. A slave rebellion in July 1858 freed the slaves but also restricted labor for the plantations. As a result the islands economy soured and plantation life became a thing of the past. Conditions improved slowly. Three islands in the chain were purchased by the US In 1917 and became the US Virgin Islands. A fourth island was added in the 1990s. Britain possessed seventy islands in the chain and Spain possessed four islands in the chain. The whole Virgin island chain went through a period of depression brought on by natural disasters and changing economies in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
It wasn’t until the mid 1950s that a new tourist industry was developed out of the ashes of lost dreams of gold and prosperity. National Parks dedicated to preserving and restoring the natural beauty of the islands were a big draw. Tourism remains a multi-million dollar industry for the Virgin Islands.
US Virgin Islands
St. Croix celebrates their emancipation from slavery every July 3rd. US History is tied to this island in two ways. Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury was born here. Many Americans can trace their ancestors here and it gave people of color an ideal for freeing themselves. Black history tours are very popular.
British Virgin Islands
Financial services and offshore companies reign here. Tourism is also a big draw. Most tourists visit Virgin Gorda for its spectacular boulder formation known as “The Baths.” Others may visit St. Kitts which is actually an independent island in the chain.
Spanish Virgin Islands
Actually the two islands named as the Spanish Virgin Islands, Vieques and Culebra are now considered part of Puerto Rico and belong to the US. They came a part of the treaty the US signed with Spain in 1898. These islands are known for their great fishing industries and activities.
If you want to stay current on the latest news and trends regarding finance, it’s important to access a variety of viewpoints. Simply reading the financial news isn’t enough. Financial blogs can help you stay informed and give you some different perspectives. Here are the top five blogs that will help to increase your financial intelligence.
MoneyTalks News is a popular and versatile blog that covers topics of interest to the average person as well as business owners. There are lots of practical tips for saving money, investing and finding the best deals. The blog focuses a lot on practical, everyday financial decisions such as insurance, wireless phone services and saving money for retirement.
Money Crashers is a blog that features articles and reviews on everything related to personal finance. You will find useful reviews of credit card reward programs, ways to save money over the holidays and how to choose the right bank account. There is also career advice for people of all ages. Money Crashers publishes lots of new material every day, so it’s a good idea to visit this blog frequently.
Investor Junkie is a good blog to follow if you’re looking for solid investment advice.
There are so many investment options and styles that it can be confusing, but this blog helps to clarify everything. You will find a variety of investment reviews, tools and resources covering everything from stocks and options to online investment platforms. Reading this blog on a regular basis can help you to gain a more thorough understanding about all of your investment choices.
As the name suggests, this is a blog that’s mainly focused on identifying bargains. It’s also a good source of information about other financial blogs, and it generously recommends lots of competing blogs on the home page. Mostly, however, the blog covers the myriad ways you can save money, such as cash back programs, gas cards, coupons and much more.
It’s hard to be financially successful if you don’t know how to create and stick to a budget. Budgets are Sexy gives you all the information and resources you need to become savvy about budgets. It helps you find the budget that’s right for your circumstances so that you can begin to take control of your financial future.
As you begin your approach, try to remember that overnight success may happen but it is rare. Building a complete financial portfolio can take many years of diligence. Be prepared to study and study again because there is nothing more risky than an educated investment. You want to design a plan that thrives regardless of external circumstances. That can entail both taking chances and playing it safe. The seasoned investment will attest diversity is key to a portfolio. The greatest financial risk is putting all your money in one place.
The less you know requires you learn, learn, learn. Stay up to date on fields you may want to invest in. Keep up with the latest news, trends and information. This will be invaluable when it’s time to make your investment and will also give you a sound foundation for tracking your investments. If you can find an ear in the industry, or an adviser, talk to it. There is no greater asset than someone that has already walked the path you want to be on.
The smart investor doesn’t dive into whatever is going to make the most money. They look at financial prospects that fit their lifestyle and talent. Some investors are skilled at commercial property rental. Others have an acumen for mutual funds or knowing when to get in and out of a growing investment bubble that’s likely to pop. Researching and investing in your interests enhances your chances of success and makes the endeavor far more interesting.
Developing a strategy for creating a strong financial portfolio is going to take time, effort, patience and a lot of forethought. But anyone willing to slowly build and wait will definitely reap the benefits.
In today’s rapidly changing business world, companies are always seeking ways to stay ahead of the competition. For many of them, using a management consulting firm has helped provide answers to key questions about business strategy and how to find new and innovative ways to improve their products, services, customer relations and more. When today’s smart companies need the best business advice, the place they turn is Cane Bay Partners.
Having established long-standing relationships with many major companies worldwide, Cane Bay Partners is continually sought out for its advice and numerous ideas regarding business strategy. Focusing on business and economic growth and development, Cane Bay Partners has been able to focus only on those areas they and their clients deemed most important in finding success in the boardroom and when dealing face-to-face with customers.
With a mission to bring the foresight and initiative needed to help businesses grow, Cane Bay Partners demonstrates this first-hand by being heavily involved with many philanthropic endeavors in St. Croix. By showing their commitment to the area they call home, they understand everything involved in helping to create job growth and opportunity for those around them.
When working with clients, Cane Bay Partners will assess their individual situations and then offer sound and reasonable solutions to their problems. Known as a management consulting firm that puts its clients in positions to succeed time and time again, Cane Bay Partners is committed to providing recommendations that result in success for their clients. Able to see their product development, portfolio management and risk management become better than ever before, the clients of Cane Bay Partners know firsthand just how well things work when implementing Cane Bay’s suggestions.
Working with a variety of global-based businesses, Cane Bay Partners strives to make sure their clients are given practical, effective and proven ways to see improvement in many areas. If it’s a smart business move you are trying to make, teaming up with Cane Bay Partners is pure genius.
Digital Marketing Today
2. Banner Advertising. Is your message smartly crafted and conveying the information people want and need? Are you call-to-actions clear and exact? Is targeting based on the customer’s geographical location, language and the most opportune time of day?
3. SEO Strategies. Search engine optimization is the cumulative strategies employed to get free organic traffic from natural search engine results. Consider your website’s level frequency of content. Does it address your customer’s needs? Website site architecture is critical for customer ease of navigation and making sure they get targeted information. Effective link building strategies can boost a website’s page rank. Social media footprints allow marketers to monitor what’s being said and being shared. Customers like to know you’re listening and that you’re willing to respond.
Blogging is essential for two reasons: it informs search engine algorithms that new content has been added to your website, and it (depending on the content) can quickly establish your company as an expert in its field.
Old School Advertising
While the digital marketing age is alive and well, old-school advertising and branding are still in play. Network and attend events. Stay involved and work with a variety of organizations and boards so as to build a solid base of friends and colleagues. Networking in your local community can help inform people about what your firm specializes in. Passing out business cards to friends and colleagues is still an effective means of sharing your brand with the world.
One of the best ways of staying ahead or on top of the competition is to monitor them on a daily basis. “Google” your competitor’s address (in parenthesis) to find out where they’re listed in local directories and in social media venues where they’re prominent. Study their keywords, messaging and how they interact with their customers. Offer a unique service or improve on their best practices.
Stay informed with what’s happening in your field. What marketing publications to you read and follow? Who are the marketing gurus in your field, and what’s their best marketing advice? We live in a world where the need to learn new things never stops.
Your business possibly relies on third party firms for expert services. This is an essential and often unavoidable expense for small companies who cannot hire full time employees for the tasks of accounting, website building, and market analysis. Larger businesses are also moving towards outsourcing to dedicated firms, because of their motivation and greater resources. More businesses are finding it cheaper use third party services sporadically than to hold specialized employees.
While few service industries have exchanges to allow an easy comparison of prices, some services are actually designed to analyze other services. This means that a team is expert in understanding the many players in markets and industries and understands the abilities and costs associated with different firms. They understand the fine points of established and prestigious service providers while having an awareness of obscure players who might be able to offer niche products for a better price.
A service provider analysis is similar to hiring a bargain hunter to shop for groceries or office supplies. The different in the case of shopping for service providers is that thousands and sometimes millions of dollars are at stake. The best firms are highly recognized for their experience and defining services, while smaller firms might have a reputation for energy and productivity above their requesting price tag.
A service provider analysis is not a brokerage deal where client and vendor are put in contact; rather it is a discreet examination of companies pitching business-to-business offers. There is often a difference between what a firm advertises and what they deliver, and an analysis is an insider perspective and what the customer is actually buying. Such information can reveal whether or not particular aspects of a provider company are compatible with the needs of your company.
To this end, finding the best quality for the best price is only the first benefit of a service provider analysis. Each firm has its quirks and concentration of experience. Finding a perfect match is the difference between hitting the nail and hitting the board.
Your financial history is often obtained by a single three digit number. The FICO score is a culmination of several factors that show overall credit history. It’s most likely one of the most important factors in your financial portfolio. It’s the first thing a bank will look for in the home mortgage or car loan process. Some employers will also look at this important number during hiring phase.
How is a FICO Score Calculated?
The FICO score was created by Fair Isaac Corporation and is a score that combines several pieces of your credit history information. Scores use a combination of credit history and usage. This complex scoring method also takes in account the length of credit history. Individuals with new credit should take note that it will take a few years for the score to go up. The average credit score is approximately 690. Over 37% of adults admit they don’t know their credit score. It’s important to know what makes up the scoring model:
• Payment history
This is the most substantial factor in scoring at 35-40%. Payment history takes into account both positive and negative payments. Derogatory items such as collections are factored in based on the first initial late payment
• Length of time
How long credit was used overall is an important factor. It takes up roughly 15% of the scoring model.
• Type of credit usage
The percentage of revolving and installment debt can be a factor in this percentage that takes up another 10-15%.
• Debt owed
Between 30-35% of the FICO score is obtained from this piece of information. The amount of debt owed shouldn’t exceed an appropriate debt-to-income ratio.
• New credit authorizations
This area makes up roughly 10% of scoring. Hard pulls or credit applications show in the report in this area.
Additional FICO rules
The FICO score can remain unchanged or go up and down rapidly depending on credit habits. Each individual credit bureau will calculate the score using a slightly different formula. The difference may be a few points between each report. Your FICO score will change over time depending on credit habits.
The Importance of a High Score
Obtaining a high FICO score is a result of managing credit in a healthy way. Employers and banks will be more ready to hire and lend since it shows responsibility. There is a general rule that anything over 720 is considered prime or excellent credit. Different types of debt will have an impact on the score. Improving credit will require a healthy combination of installment and revolving credit history. Revolving credit is usually a credit card of unsecured debt and will have the most immediate impact on credit history. Installment debt is considered secured and could be a student loan or home mortgage.